The 14th and 15th of January took place the meeting about the organization of the Generic Student Challenges that will start in March-April 2019 under the supervision of the Carlos III Madrid University.

The meeting took place at the Centre Spatial Universitaire de Montpellier (CSUM), and included a visit to the Ground station where CSUM receives signals from in-orbit 1U CubeSat “ROBUSTA-1B”, and a demo in the Concurrent Design Facility.

This month, discover the testimony of Alejandro Cano & David Tomás Gaitán, both users of NANOSTAR.

“We have always been amazed by the space and NANOSTAR is a project which will enable to get closer to the space world. It is a chance that we can’t miss.

Thanks to NANOSTAR, we have the opportunity to lead an engineering project at the same level which we will deal with in our future. Furthermore, we can participate in a work environement which is unique, composed by students and teachers from different departments, from different universities.

This is a way to Exchange experiences, methodologies, knowledge and without Nanostar, we could not have access to that. We are currently developing ideas and projects but we hope to contribute to the NANOSTAR project as it contributes to our careers. Without any doubt, this initiative will give us all we need for our profesional future.”

NANOSTAR is a 2014-2020 Interreg Sudoe project which allows university students to be part of a whole real space engineer project which includes conception, design, implementation and documentation.


Humans of SUDOE began as a testimonies project in April 2018. Its main objective is to collect experiences from users and people related to projects financed through the Interreg Sudoe Programme, highlighting how they improve their day-to-day. HUMANS OF SUDOE is an exhaustive catalogues of first-person testimonies. Together, those portraits become a blog on the construction of Europe by and for the citizens.

Learn more:

The NANOSTAR consortium meeting took place on November 13 and 14 at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

The meeting has been an opportunity to overview the project progress and define the necessary actions
for the Student Challenges competition launch.

The main objective of the NANOSTAR project is to provide students with the experience of a real space engineering process that includes all stages, from conception and specifications, to design, assembly, integration, testing and documentation, so that they are the main future players in the field of nanosatellites.

The NANOSTAR consortium is composed of 2 aerospace clusters, 7 universities plus 3 ESA-BIC centres as associates, in France, Spain and Portugal:

Aerospace Valley

Global competitivity cluster with more than 800 members in the aeronautic, aerospace, and embedded system sectors.

Madrid Aerospace Cluster

This Spanish cluster manages cooperation projects between companies, universities and research centers.

Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux

Bordeaux INP has departments in electronic, telecommunications, computer science and mathematics & mechanics.

Institut Supérieur de L’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE), Toulouse.

ISAE-Supaero covers systems engineering, simulation, validation, and all specialties, scientific or technical, involved in aerospace systems.

University of Montpellier

First French university to launch two nanosatellites.

  • Country: France
  • Role in the project: Partners resources catalogue
  • Web:

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Flight-proven capabilities in the design, manufacturing and operation of a full space system.

  • Country: Spain
  • Role in the project: Work methodology
  • Web:

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

UC3M has all engineering disciplines in a single campus. Hosts, in particular, expert groups in space propulsion and photonics/optoelectronics.

  • Country: Spain
  • Role in the project: Student Challenges
  • Web:

Universidade da Beira Interior

Young portuguese univeristy that hosts the Center for Mechanical and Aerospace Science and Technologies.

  • Country: Portugal
  • Role in the project: Collaborative engineering models
  • Web:

Instituto Superior Técnico

Largest and oldest engineering School in Portugal, with more than 40 years of experience in aerospace science and technology.

The objective of this challenge is to build from scratch a base station for nanosatellite.

This challenge will be divided in three phases. Students are working on the first phase that consists in building a receiver for the NOAA19 satellite. Following this first phase, the second phase will consist in building a 433 MHz transceiver SATCOM base station to provide services to nanosatellite, especially to the NYMPH nanosatellite of our consortium member ISAE that is scheduled for a launch in 2020.

19 students of ENSEIRB-MATMECA will take part in the first phase.


The 11th International Workshop and Advanced School “Spaceflight Dynamics and Control” took place at the University of Beira Interior in Covilhã, Portugal. It was organized by the Centre for Mechanical and Aerospace Science and Technologies of the University of Beira Interior (C-MAST) and SpaceWay.

The Workshop consisted of a number of lectures given by several well-known specialists in Astrodynamics from all over the world. The sessions were dedicated to a large variety of topics, from mission analysis to dynamics and control of space systems and small satellites.

The target audience of the event included university students and researchers from aerospace sector. The Workshop program included talks both on theoretical studies on space systems and experimental results, and several topics were discussed:

  • Space Missions
  • Dynamics and Control of Space Systems
  • Orbital Dynamics
  • Small Satellites
  • Space Systems in Portugal
  • Space Industry in Portugal

These nanosatellites typically weigh between 1 and 10 kilograms and follow the popular ‘CubeSat’ standard, which defines the outer dimensions of the satellite within multiple cubic units of 10x10x10 cm. For instance, a 3-unit CubeSat has dimensions of 10x10x30 cm and weighs about 3-4 kg. This is typically the minimum size which can accommodate small technology payloads.

Fixing the satellite body dimensions promotes a highly modular, highly integrated system where satellite subsystems are available as ’commercial off the shelf’ products from a number of different suppliers and can be stacked together according to the needs of the mission. Furthermore, the standard dimensions also allows CubeSats to hitch a ride to orbit within a container, which simplifies the accommodation on the launcher and minimises flight safety issues, increasing the number of launch opportunities as well as keeping the launch cost low.

Due to their high degree of modularity and extensive use of commercial off the shelf subsystems, CubeSat projects can be readied for flight on a much more rapid basis compared to traditional satellite schedules, typically within one to two years.

CubeSats have already proved their worth as educational tools. In addition, they have various promising applications in the ESA context:

  • As a driver for drastic miniaturisation of systems, ‘systems-on-chips’, and totally new approach to packaging and integration, multi-functional structures, embedded propulsion
  • As an affordable means of demonstrating such technologies, together with novel techniques such as formation flying, close inspection or rendezvous and docking
  • As an opportunity to carry out distributed multiple in-situ measurements, such as obtaining simultaneous multi-point observations of the space environment (which might include the thermosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere or charged particle flux)
  • As a means of deploying small payloads – for instance, very compact radio receivers or optical cameras where the potential deficit in performance may be largely compensated by the multitude of satellites involved (e.g. in constellations or swarms)
  • As a means of augmenting solar system exploration with – for instance, a stand-alone fleet capable of rendezvous with multiple targets (e.g. near-Earth objects) or a swarm carried by a larger spacecraft and deployed at the destination (e.g. Moon, asteroid/comet, Mars).